How do you know if a 50-dollar paper money is a counterfeit?

I have asked this question several times in my Senior Sunday school class and got various answers. One senior said she can identify the counterfeit money by the look of it – that it is fainter in colour. Another senior said she can distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine one by holding and feeling the paper money. Others said, they can identify the fake money by its smell.

While the answers I got maybe true, they are, however, incomplete. They are incomplete because they lack the basic ingredient in determining the authenticity of the paper money – knowing first the qualities of a genuine 50-dollar paper money. We call these qualities as the criteria or standards that measure the genuiness of the paper money. Without them, no one can practically distinguish which is genuine and which is counterfeit.

In a church setting, how do we know if church attendees are genuine believers or not? Would those who attend Sunday worship services and Sunday schools, participate in prayer meetings and fellowships regularly be conclusively considered as genuine believers? Would those who give tithes and offerings generously merit the label genuine believers? Would those who participate in worship singing, teach in Bible studies, and so forth really be classifiable as genuine believers?

1 John 2:4 says “Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.” This is the “litmus-paper-test” to determine genuine believers. If a person who claims he or she knows our Lord Jesus Christ but does not do what our Lord commands, he or she is identified as a liar and the truth is not in that person. In plain word, he or she is a counterfeit.

Being a genuine Christian is manifested by the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of that person as attested by the fruit of the Holy Spirit being in him/her. Genuine believers are all originals and not copycats.


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